Thursday 24 May 2018

How Citroen blend best of old, new and future with their C4 Cactus hatchback

Citroen C4 Cactus
Citroen C4 Cactus
Citroen C4 Cactus

Declan O'Byrne

Citreon's new C4 Cactus hatchback goes on sale here May 10.

There are three petrol versions: PureTech 110 Touch, €19,995; Feel priced at €22,495; and a 1.2 Turbo 130 for an additional €1,300. And there is a 1.6 diesel coming in at €24,695.

Road tax, depending on version, costs between €180 and €200.

It's a neat package for drivers, with a 7ins touchscreen grouping all the key vehicle and infotainment functions, such as air con, radio and telephone.

Important for many drivers, there is a standard full-sized spare wheel (and still plenty of boot space - 358 litres).

Not a lot of people might be aware of the fact that owners can benefit from Citroen's five-year unlimited mileage warranty as well. A big consideration.

The C4 Cactus is a well-disguised amalgam of some of the more sturdy, slightly quirky but fondly regarded characteristics of the Cactus in its heyday.

Yes, you're right, that was the one with those daring air bubble protective panels, which have now given way to the lines of the already well-established, more mainstream C4.

In decommissioning the air bubbles, however, Citroen engineers developed what they call a "360-degree protective wraparound" shell, deftly woven into, and strengthening, the main body structure.

Whatever the scope of the mechanical and engineering changes, they are describing the transformation from old Cactus to the new as "a complete overhaul".

The company was at pains to highlight a particular innovation in the new C4 at launch here: their advanced comfort programme.

Its unveiling marked the European premiere for the brand's new suspension system, with progressive hydraulic cushions allowing it to claim "a world-first" for its advanced seats.

This suspension system is standard across the range with, the company says, "next-generation technology" that absorbs road imperfections for "a magic carpet ride effect".

The car comes in three trims - Touch, Feel and Flair - with a cabin that's easy on the eye and body with its soft fabrics and colours.

As well as bolstered boost and height-adjustments for the driver and the front passenger, the seats have adjustable lumbar support for the driver - standard on Feel and Flair trims.

The seats are interesting: high-density foam within each helps aggregate correct support to ease discomfort on long journeys.

Ground clearance is decent too. It was easy to get in and out of the car.

There were no discernible shortcomings in the level of comfort over a short run-out across the midlands last week, so, on that basis, for the moment at least, the system can be regarded as a success.

On brief acquaintance, the 1.2 petrol was a lively performer, but the 1.6 diesel was a bit lethargic, if solid. There's an automatic, too, in a car that is 4.17m long, 1.71m wide, and 1.48m high.

The new car has 12 driver assistance systems including active safety brake, grip control and lane departure warning.

There are also several connectivity technologies: the company's connect nav and box as well as the emergency and assistance system.

You also get mirror screen functionality with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink.

The car's overall look has been updated as an attempt to woo more buyers. It should do so as it now effectively straddles two market segments with its hatch and SUV looks.

Finally, there's a swathe of personalisation options, nine body colours and four colour packs, making a total of 31 possible combinations.

Indo Motoring

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